I am one of those advisers who is a traditional print journalist. Adding video to my program’s on-line news site has been slow and painful.
Recently, I attended the JEA Broadcast and Video Bootcamp from Michael Hernandez in San Francisco. I also attended all of his broadcast classes Saturday morning: “Sound design and recording for broadcast”; “Secrets to a successful broadcast program”; and “iPhoneography for video journalism”.
Armed with such materials and some experience (the bootcamp by design groups attendees together and sends them out to capture video and create a broadcast by the end of the day), the last assignment in my beginning journalism class this year was a video news story.
In addition to the bootcamp knowledge, I also used Video Coach I and Video Coach II in class, because I believe they offer very important and fundamental knowledge that I don’t have myself. My students were evaluating videos from other classes as they walked through my door every day.
For this J1 experiment, my students used iMovie, tripods, point and click cameras, and no external mics (because we don’t yet have the proper equipment).
When my students showed any signs of panic about what shape their final videos might take, I reminded them that the only thing I was interested in is what they learned. And, learn we did!
Before students showed videos (many worked in pairs), I asked them (1) what did you do well? (2) what would you do differently next time? and (3) what did you learn?
We started May 7 and ended May 30. I thought this would be too much time, but with the Video Coach DVD tutorials, some concept sheets, and time to plan stories, arrange interviews, capture video, and edit, I had students who were editing video right up until the last 20 minutes of the final exam class period.
Here are some quotes from my students about what they learned or what they would do differently next time.
- I would be more consistent and get better B Roll and have better framing for interviews.
- I learned eyes on third, and wide, medium and tight shots.
- I learned that it takes more time to frame a shot than I thought.
- I learned how things may not go as planned, but always have a back-up plan to do your interviews.
- I learned how to edit videos on iMovie and how to do voice overs and incorporate text into the video.
- A lot of things can go wrong, so you need to plan well.
- What I would do next time is find a reliable story. A lot of the plans for this story flaked and didn’t work out. Next time, we need to find a story to count on.
- I learned that speed, flexibility, and planning are all bigger parts of video than I ever would have thought. You can’t just wing it and expect it to be any good. Also, before you interview, you should ask the people you’re interviewing to fully answer and repeat the question in their answer. It’s really difficult to deal with footage that doesn’t have any context.
- When recording a story, it’s surprising how much more you can learn just by investigating further into the story.
- Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned and people don’t show up to interviews. Sometimes, your story just doesn’t work out. I learned that once you have all of the answers you need and footage, you can create a news story that you can actually see and it’s pretty cool.
- Next time, I would get different videos to show while doing voice overs because we have a lot of the same video.